I recently heard worship compared to a High School pep rally. We look at our song leaders and worship leaders like the cheerleader pumping up the fans (who are us of course ), to go and win the big game (aka…live right lives, walk like Jesus etc.). The assemblies fulfill a particular purpose: to lead us on to victory! I remember thinking this was pretty accurate. I also remember thinking there is much right about this, but also much wrong! Is this really all worship is about?
The pep rally concept leaves the crowd with no real part to play. We can scream and shout, but we don’t get to take the action on the field. So, often times we think we have nothing to do with securing the victory. I don’t think this is correct. Without the screaming fans, a team would find it hard to win! A popular worship chorus says “Lord keep us from just signing and move us into action”, implying that “just singing” is not as important as the “work of faith” we will do after the pep rally is over. It is my belief that BOTH are equally important. The mission we are “cheering” about as well as the actual “cheers” we offer !There HAS to be balance. If worship is just the “fluff” of faith, the stuff we use to make us feel good, and push us to go do a good deed, then we’re missing the point! But if mission work is all that matters to us, we also lose. God calls us to both!
In worship we encounter the living God! We come face to face with the good news and are transformed. Without transformation our efforts are fruitless! In this presence we realize that only HE can change the world, and we line ourselves up with HIS mission. And in worship we are brought into community with each other. And after meeting God in worship and experiencing the good news we are compelled to act on our faith! It flows directly from worship and the 2 cannot be separated.
A true life of worship DOES NOT end with the singing. It also includes feeding the hungry, befriending the lonely and visiting the sick and incarcerated. Jesus says we meet him here too, in the faces of those we serve. In our actions, mission becomes worship!
I challenge us to live out worship on both fronts. In the pews together, and on the streets of our daily lives. We talk about worship and mission too often as 2 separate entities. No more! LIVE your worship, SING your worship and let God direct our paths!
(paraphrased from RELEVANT)